Residents from Brookfield Circle and Mill Street in Quakertown voiced their concerns over recent flooding problems to Quakertown officials at a meeting Monday night.
Heavy August rains, which concluded with Hurricane Irene, filled basements with as much as 13 feet of water and caused severe damage throughout the area. Residents said they are hoping steps can be taken to prevent future problems. They believe the cemetery and an open area north of the neighborhood are the primary source of the flooding issues.
Brookfield Circle resident Jeffrey Hacker said his home, like many, suffered major damage.
“Most of the water is coming downhill from the cemetery, and adjacent fields. There is nothing to stop the water coming down the hill, my basement was full to within a few inches of my first floor,” Hacker said. “It’s the second time since October of last year that the basement has been completely filled.”
Borough Manager Scott McElree said while the extreme rainfall amounts created conditions that caused a lot of problems, the council and administration were proactive about developing the best solution.
“Unfortunately, we can’t just divert the water because it will just cause a problem in another area of the community. “he best way to handle storm water issues is to develop better retention areas which will allow the water to collect, and be released at a slower pace that the drain system that is in place is able to keep up with,” he said.
Patrick Cox of Geo Life, a non-profit environmental protection organization, was in attendance to explain one of those options to the residents and council. Geo Life recently applied to the state for a Growing Greener grant, which would be used to improve the environmental efficiency of a nearby water retention basin located behind the Giant Supermarket in the Quakertown Shopping Plaza at routes 309 and 313.
Cox said if the grant is approved, the project could be expanded to improve the drainage system in the affected area.
Also at the workshop, council listened to a presentation from Dr. Rex D’Agostino of MetroTek Electrical Services to develop a multi-phase solar energy program for the area. While the presentation was a short overview of a large proposal, McElree said the idea of adding solar power as an energy source for the borough was focused on the future.
“It is our desire to determine the best, most efficient and cost effective plan to provide the necessary energy to the community. We are looking into determining how solar energy can be a part of that plan,” he said.